QB Tommy Rees closes out another ND win
By Mark Lazerus 648-3140 or email@example.com October 13, 2012 11:40PM
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:53AM
SOUTH BEND — Tommy Rees didn’t have time to grasp the magnitude and pressure of the moment. When Everett Golson suffered a helmet-to-helmet hit with 3:18 to go in the fourth quarter and the Irish trailing 13-10, Rees barely had time to find his helmet.
“The best way I can describe it is you really don’t have time to think,” he said after Notre Dame’s 20-13 overtime win over Stanford on Saturday. “You’ve got 10 guys on offense, and then 100 guys on the team, that are counting on you — let alone the university and Notre Dame and playing for everyone that’s there. You don’t have time to think about that kind of stuff. Just get out there and play.”
For the third time this season, Rees did just that, and closed out a victory for the Irish. This time, he led a drive that set up Kyle Brindza’s game-tying chip shot field goal with 20 seconds left, then threw the go-ahead touchdown to T.J. Jones in the first series of overtime.
But this time was different. There was no advance warning — Golson got hurt, and Rees had to go find his helmet and run a play. Brian Kelly gave him a handoff to run at first, but then it was straight into the fire for the veteran quarterback.
“It was kind of a bang-bang play with Ev, having to go in right away,” Rees said. “It’s a little different. But preparation through the week got my ready. You just have to go out there and find a way to win.”
Golson was up and about down the stretch, but Kelly said he had some blurred vision, so Rees stayed in.
In overtime, Rees was sacked on the first play. But he hit DaVaris Daniels for 9 yards, then floated a nifty 16-yard pass to Theo Riddick in the face of a jailbreak blitz, then hit Jones on a slant for what proved to be the game-winning score.
Golson finished 12-of-24 for 141 yards and a touchdown. Rees was 4-of-4 for 43 yards and a TD.
“He’s always ready to go,” tight end Tyler Eifert said.
“It’s a tough situation, you’re coming off the sideline, you’re cold, put in a big game, a tough situation. But he understands our offense so well and the defense so well, it doesn’t take much time for him to get used to it.”